[open-science] Should scientific text be put in the public domain rather than licensed with CC-BY?

Marius Kempe m.kempe at qmul.ac.uk
Wed Jan 12 15:38:43 UTC 2011

1) You said it yourself - "a few dozen lines of code can pull in data from a
large number of source, potentially making it tricky to keep track of all
the attributions". One day not very far from today, scientific texts will be
the raw data of natural language science knowledge engines, and then the
situation for text will be exactly the same as that for data. Using CC0
today will make this easier in the future, for all the same reasons that you
support CC0 for data.

2) Using CC0 simplifies the science IP landscape; it would allow us to tell
unconverted scientists to simply use the public domain for all works, rather
than a hodgepodge of CC0 for data, CC-BY for PLoS One, CC-BY-NC for Nature's
Scientific Reports, etc etc. Much simpler to say: publicly funded science
belongs in the public domain.


A footnote: Google did not provide snippets of copyrighted books "without
much trouble" - they fought a long, protracted legal battle that cost them
more than $100 million (

On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM, Thomas Kluyver <takowl at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm having trouble seeing the advantage of CC0 over CC-BY for writing. For
> data, a few dozen lines of code can pull in data from a large number of
> sources, potentially making it tricky to keep track of all the attributions.
> Writing is generally done by humans, so it's hardly onerous to point to
> sources.
> The scientific search engine example you give (on Quora) would most likely
> be exempt under 'fair use' or equivalent provisions, and in any case, I
> would consider the links it provides to be attribution. After all, Google
> provides 'snippets' of all-rights-reserved works without much trouble. Even
> if we can produce software intelligent enough to read free text, and
> synthesise interesting summaries from it, we'll undoubtedly want links to
> the originals (would automatic summaries actually infringe copyright?).
> What could we do if all scientific writing was CC0, that couldn't be done
> if it was all CC-BY?
> Thomas
> On 12 January 2011 13:51, Marius Kempe <m.kempe at qmul.ac.uk> wrote:
>> The other point that I feel is worth making is that many of the reasons
>> that the Panton Principles and Open Biblio give for using the public domain
>> apply equally to scientific texts - why should open scientists advocate a
>> confusing two-tiered system of public domain for data and bibliographic
>> records but copyright licensing for papers and books?
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/open-science/attachments/20110112/f40c8bd4/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the open-science mailing list